Figma Support Forum

Screen Resolutions

When designing for desktop, what resolution do you guys use?

For example, I’m doing a redesign of all the font sizes on a website. I’ve designed it in 1920 x 1080, but the customer is viewing my prototype on a 1440 x 900 screen. I understand that they have the same ratio, so the prototype will shrink/grow to fit their window, but I assume the text sizes will also scale, meaning that what was 24px in my 1920 x 1080 mockup, is now 12px on their 1440 x 900 screen.

Is this correct? And if so, is there any solution to this, aside from redesigning the whole site in 1440 x 900?

To further complicate things, what if I have multiple customers with multiple screen resolutions reviewing the same design? I can’t desig a separate file for each individual screen resolution?!

I do all desktops in 1440x900 or 1366x768 and make maybe a styleframe for bigger sizes.

Make one page with all typography maybe, so you can show the correct size to the client?

2 Likes

Thanks for the response, I’ve somehwat discovered a solution to this as I went down the rabbit hole of grids and responsive design.

I always take responsiveness into consideration, but I rarely took the time to properly set my constraints and grids, as I rarely had to demonstrate with my prototypes how the responsiveness would work.
This solves half the problem - if a customer asks to see the design in a different desktop size, I can simple resize the frame, and it will change in a responsive way, and there won’t be any fiddling around to do.

HOWEVER, this means I have to change the size of each frame, and if you’re working with a prototype with lots of frames, this would take forever.

It’d be great if, when users are viewing the prototype in the browser, the design would behave in align with the responsive design you’ve built. In Figma, I can play around with the frame size, and it will act in a responsive way. However, if I view the prototype and play around with the size of the browser window, it doesn’t act in the same way.

Not sure if I’ve missed something here, but this is still a problem.

1 Like

Hi

I am new to Figma.

I wonder why desktop screen frame size is by default of 1440 * 1024, whereas my desktop and usually what I have observed is that the standard resolution if 1366 *768.
And I have observed that many designers do not take the bottom taskbar, and top navigation bar. (and even the bookmark bar)

Will it be okay if I design it for 1366 * 660 (considering leaving spacing for top navigation & bottom taskbar)

Is this making sense?

1 Like

The most important part is to make a design which is usable across different screensizes. For that you should be making your design as modular compontens that can be mixed together into fitting any screensize.

As long as you get your designs communicated to those who will develop it, you are good to go.

1 Like

I do make sure my screens are designed responsively, so it’s not a huge issue to change the frame width whilst not disrupting the design.

In my previous example though, I was specifically trying to get sign-off on a bunch of changes in text size, and no matter how responsive your design is, the prototype may be viewed on multiple screen sizes, which will affect how something like text size is displayed.

The only viewing options when viewing prototypes are to either scale the design up or down to fit the users screen, or to view the design at 100%.

If you scale the design up or down, it will also scale the text size up or down accordingly, so what was once 14px is no longer being viewed accurately as 14px.

If you view the design at 100%, there’s a good chance one of the people viewing it will have a screen smaller or larger than your frame, in which case they may have to scroll horizontally to view the entire page.

That makes total sense. If you’re designing a single page UI like a dashboard, you want it to perfectly fit the window so you have to take in account the browser’s menu bar, address bar and the computer’s task bar. so roughly on a chrome browser, 1366 x 768 comes down to 1366 x 657 and 1440 x 1024 to 1440 x 690.

I prefer using 1440 x 690 cause there will not be a lot of scaling difference that would matter compared to 1366 x 657, after all its just 37 pixels wider on both sides(1440-1366/2).which I consider negligible for a desktop design.

if you’re viewing the prototype on 1366 x h desktop, just use the options menu to scale down to fit width.

Hope that helps!

Yes, but by scaling down the design, you’re also scaling down the text sizes, which was my original issue. This means the prototype no longer gives an accurate representation of what the text will actually look like when built.

If I design my desktop website on a 1920px wide frame, then you scale it down to be viewed on your 1440px monitor, the text will be half the size!

For application development, text sizes typically do NOT scale down with resolution, unless you’re consciously creating a style change at a breakpoint. If you set a block of text to 14px at 1920x1080 or 1440x800, it’s still a 14px block of text. You could however set a logical breakpoint at say 1200px so when you scale down to 1024x768, the block of text would drop to 12px. Figma doesn’t handle that natively, but there are responsive plugins that can help you out.

Not sure if this was directed at me, but yes this is the issue! If you scale down a real application, text size should remain the same (unless configured otherwise with breakpoints).

In contrast, if a prototype is designed at 1920px wide, and you’re viewing it on a monitor that’s 1440px wide, the person viewing will need to scale the prototype down to fit their screen width. This will scale down the entire design proportionally, which means unlike real applications, the text size will be scaled down too. Meaning that the 14px text you designed on your 1920px wide canvas will now appear half the size, as opposed to remaining 14px as it would do in the real world.

I could be wrong, and would gladly be corrected, but from my understanding real, coded web pages should behave responsively as a browser window is resized, they should not scale up or down proportionally. This is similar to what we do when we set our constraints in Figma. So when a browser window is resized, although elements will move around, it should not affect the text size.

In contrast, let’s say we design a responsive layout on a 1920px wide frame in Figma, then view it in prototype mode on a 1440px wide screen. We can either:

a) View it at 100% of the original size (since we’re viewing this on a 1440px wide screen, we would need to scroll horizontally in order to view the entire design, so this is not ideal)

b) Scale it down to fit our screen size, which means the entire design is scaled proportionally to suit our 1440px.

This is where the problem arises - to my knowledge, text sizes should not scale proportionally like this, right?
If I use Chrome developer tools and play around with the width of the responsive viewport, text size isn’t increasing or decreasing. However when viewing Figma prototypes, it seems like the text size is dependant on the size of the screen you’re viewing it on.

1 Like

Ah, you’re talking about the scaling feature of the prototype viewer in particular. I guess what you’re asking for is instead of just “100%”, “Fit”, “Fill”, and “Width”, there should be some sort of Responsive view where the frame is scaled to fit, but the elements within the frame adapt using constraints, auto-layout, etc. to the available space.

I LIKE that idea!

1 Like

Yeah I think that would be great, although I seem to remember reading somewhere that this would be extremely complex with the way the prototype viewer has been built.

Regardless of that potential feature, I’d be interested to get others’ opinions on how I could approach the original problem I had at the start of this post:

My client didn’t like the text sizing across their whole site, so I redesigned it with updated text sizing. The problem was that due to these scaling issues we’ve highlighted, I’m not sure of the best way to present a prototype to this client that will be the most accurate representation of how the actual, coded site would look.

It seems that it’s totally dependant on what frame size we design with, and what screen size they view the prototype with. If I design on a 1440px wide frame, but they view it on a 1920px wide monitor, there are only two options:

  1. Scale up the design to fit the 1920px wide monitor
  2. View it at 100% size, which means the prototype will only take up half the screen

Both of these won’t be great experiences, nor will they give a realistic idea of what the final design will look like.